Kelsey and TJ

Proposal Ideas Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis

How We Met

In March of 2017, after I had had a birthday party and put some pictures of the night on Facebook, my friend, Becca texted me and told me that her friend, TJ had seen the pictures of us together and thought that I was really pretty. She told me that she thought we’d really hit it off and so, of course, I crept on his social media and thought he was SO handsome. I was sort of seeing someone else at the time, so it wasn’t until June when I was single that he reached out and asked if he could take me out. I ALMOST said no because the thought of a blind date made me nervous and sounded like a lot of work, but I didn’t have plans, so I said yes anyway. We went out the following night for drinks at a really cute rooftop bar called Amore in Uptown, Minneapolis.

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Kelsey's Proposal in Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis

Where to Propose in Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis

Pretty soon, three hours had passed and we were having the best time. We went to one other spot before the date ended and I still felt like we could have gone on talking forever. On our second date, we went to a beach on Lake Calhoun and spent a summer day together. It was only date number two, but I was so crazy about him. We had another amazing day and that night, I called my mom crying and said, “I know it’s crazy, but I think I’m already in love with him.” The rest is history, but being with him made me feel like the best version of myself. I had never had so much fun with anyone. He was everything I could have ever dreamed of and more. Falling in love with him was the most certain I had ever been of anything in my life. I still feel like I need to pinch myself and make sure I’m not dreaming up this man and the way I feel about him.

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Kelsey and TJ's Engagement in Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis

How They Asked

On Saturday, April 13, 2019, the weather was brisk but nice in Minneapolis despite some lingering snow on the ground. TJ told me that we had plans to get drinks with two other friends that afternoon. When he showed up to pick me up, one of the friends, Josh, called to tell us that they were running late. Of course, this was all part of TJ’s plan, little did I know. TJ told me that he had an idea for how we could kill some time so we headed towards Uptown anyway. We stopped at a trail that wraps around Lake Calhoun where TJ suggested we take a walk. We walked hand in hand around the lake before stopping at the beach area where we had had our second date. He pointed out where we were and asked me if I remembered where we had sat. Of course, I did and gestured to the spot we had sat on that day. He said, “why don’t you step forward and look at the lake and I’ll take your picture from behind?” I thought this was a strange request and at first, laughed and said no, if we were going to take a picture, we should just take one together.

He insisted though, so I stepped forward while he stood behind me. He wasn’t saying anything at first, so I said, “Tj? TJ??” He then said, “Kelsey.” Just his tone of voice made me turn around. There he was, down on one knee, holding the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. While my heart pounded, he made the sweetest speech about spending the rest of our lives together and how much he loved me. When he asked, I, of course, said yes and jumped at him before he could even get the ring on my finger. He had a photographer snapping pictures and then our friend Josh walked out from behind the trees. He gave us a hug and we walked forward where I noticed what Josh had been there to watch over.

There was a bench covered in roses with a bucket of ice, champagne, and “Mr. & Mrs.” glasses. The photographer snapped a few more pictures and then Josh gave us a ride to our first date spot, Amore Restaurant. When we got there, the wait staff was so excited and took us to our table which was also covered in roses. There was a sign made by TJ that said, “Where it all began.” We had more champagne and chocolate cake and I cried when he told me how he had asked for my dad’s blessing a month and a half prior. We then went back to my apartment, where TJ had coordinated with my roommate.

She had decorated our place with balloons and flowers and had more champagne. He had her playing the song, “Would You Go With Me” by Josh Turner playing when we walked in. It was so great to have her there to hug and celebrate with. We called a few family members and then headed off to dinner, the place we had had our first formal dinner date, Barbette. It was a day filled with re-experiencing all our first dates.

Again, the wait staff was so excited to see us and when we got to our table, there were more roses and another TJ made a sign with our initials, “T & K” on it. At the end of dinner, we went to Williams, a casual bar nearby where we had also stopped at the end of our first date. My roommate joined us and soon all of my friends and their significant others began to arrive.

It is rare that we can find a time that we can all get together, but everyone came. We spent the evening together celebrating and being so, so happy. It was the best day of my life to date. TJ thought of every detail, from making sure my friends could be there to celebrate, to incorporating all our first date spots, to asking my dad, but keeping it a surprise from my mom to having everything be purple (my favorite color), to choosing the perfect ring. It was such a meaningful, touching experience from start to finish. I am so insanely in love with this man and cannot wait to marry him!

Special Thanks

Iffy Akinnola
 | Photographer